Sonia Furstenau is in a powerful position with the Green Party in a minority provincial government. (file)

Furstenau says minority government good news

Cowichan Valley’s Green MLA looks forward to “cooperative and collaborative” government

Cowichan Valley’s Sonia Furstenau is confident a minority government in B.C. will be good for the province and her riding.

Furstenau, one of the three Green Party members who won their ridings in the provincial election on May 9, said that with the province so divided politically, she knew it was possible the Green Party could hold the balance of power once the final election results were in.

And with NDP candidate Ronna-Rae Leonard finally declared the winner in the Courtenay-Comox riding by 189 votes over B.C. Liberal candidate Jim Benninger after all the absentee ballots were counted on May 24, leaving the final provincial tally at 43 Liberals, 40 NDP and three Greens, Furstenau sees opportunity for her party and the province.

“I think this will provide opportunities on all fronts,” she said.

“We can finally move forward with good public policy in B.C. [Green Leader Andrew Weaver] is actively in negotiations with both the Liberals and the NDP and we’ve yet to see what will come from that, but I’m confident that we’ll have a much more collaborative and cooperative government in the province. A minority government will provide a lot of opportunities for a more positive political landscape here.”

Premier Christy Clark agreed that the final results of the election reinforce that British Columbians want the government to work together, across party lines, to get things done for them.

“Our priority is to protect our strong economy and to manage B.C.’s finances responsibly, while listening closely to British Columbians on how we address important social and environmental priorities and how we can make B.C. politics more responsive, transparent, and accountable,” Clark said.

“The work is just beginning. My team and I look forward to delivering positive results for British Columbians.”

NDP leader John Horgan said, however, that the election results indicate British Columbians have voted overwhelmingly to replace Christy Clark’s Liberals with a new government that works better for families.

“They voted for better schools, shorter wait times for health services, to defend our coast and to fix our broken political system,” Horgan said.

“The newly elected NDP team will be working hard every day to ensure British Columbians get a new government that works for them instead of just the wealthy and well-connected.”

As the political dust finally begins to settle from the election, Furstenau said she is already planning how she will approach her new role as the MLA for Cowichan Valley.

She said she wants to approach constituency work in a different way than her predecessors.

“When the residents of Shawnigan Lake were fighting against the contaminated soil dump, we formed teams that would work on specific aspects of our water issues,” Furstenau said.

“When we look at the pressing concerns in the Valley, including affordability, homelessness, dumps in the south end, issues with the Ministry of Children and Families and neglected roads, I think we should find people who want to get involved in looking for solutions on these issues in much the same way. I want the constituency work to be citizen-driven.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Craft crawl coming to Cowichan

“This helps out our local arts and crafts vendors while craft fairs and vendor shows are not running”

Feds fund safe drug supply pilot program for Cowichan

The opioid overdose crisis continues to be one of the most serious public health crises

Not enough opposition to halt new Cowichan RCMP detachment borrowing

Municipality received 1,364 response forms by deadline on July 14

Beloved Chemainus resident dies at 106

Dorothy Adair adored by the many people she met in the community in two short years

21 new COVID-19 cases confirmed in B.C. as virus ‘silently circulates’ in broader community

Health officials urge British Columbians to enjoy summer safely as surge continues

Tough time for tree fruits as some B.C. farm products soar

Province reports record 2019 sales, largely due to cannabis

‘Let’s all do a self-check’: Okanagan mayor reacts to racist vandalism targeting local family

Home of Indo-Canadian family in Summerland was targeted on evening of July 13

Province agrees to multimillion-dollar payout for alleged victims of Kelowna social worker

Robert Riley Saunders is accused of misappropriating funds of children — often Indigenous — in his care

B.C. businessman David Sidoo gets 3 months behind bars for college admissions scam

Sidoo was sentenced for hiring someone take the SATs in place of his two sons

PHOTOS: Inside a newly-listed $22M mega-mansion on ALR land in B.C.

The large home, located on ALR land, is one of the last new mansions to legally be built on ALR land

Thousands of dollars in stolen rice found in B.C. warehouse

Police raid seizes $75,000 in ‘commercial scale’ theft case

COVID-19 gives B.C. First Nation rare chance to examine tourism’s impact on grizzly bears

With 40 infrared cameras deployed in Kitasoo-Xai’Xais territory, research will help develop tourism plan with least impact on bears

NDP wants Lower Mainland MLA removed from BC Liberal caucus for alleged homophobia

BC Liberal leader, some MLAs apologize for Christian magazine ads but Laurie Throness doubles down

Most Read